Prestbury Cheshire. Annotated photographs by Oliver Wood
There are a lot more photos in my Flickr Prestbury Set
The following pages contain assorted visual musings on Prestbury and surrounding areas. A highly varied and atmospheric landscape is one of the most enthralling aspects of this part of Cheshire ranging from the open lowlands of Chelford to the dramatic wilderness of the Peak District. A veritable patchwork indeed, and all of it steeped in unique qualities of ancient rural folklore and early industrial era whimsy.
An East Cheshire Odyssey by Oliver Wood
My new book is homage to our beautiful surroundings and cycling adventures that begin and end in Prestbury. Preview shows 23 pages
Oliver Wood Photography on flickr
The following pages also include details of the famous StPeter's church which forms both the geographical and cultural hub of the Prestbury community, with its unique Norman chapel satellite (almost 1000 years old) StPeters is one of Cheshire’s most notable Norman artefacts and the largest parish church in the county.
Prestbury Village Restaurant
Prestbury High Street. June 2006
This is a more up to date view of the Jacobean ‘Priests House’, ‘Church House’ (in the foreground), and the main part of the village. The baskets are not quite as spectacular as 2004 but the rather attractive barrel tubs are a pleasant new addition.
The lay of the land in Parrots Field Prestbury during the early autumn. Parrots Field is a pleasant patch of green opposite the cottages, restaurants and Admiral Rodney pub on New Road.
Winter at the bottom of Bollin Grove
This photo was taken in early days of winter 2010, it was to become an exceptionally cold 'arctic' season with up to two feet of snow in Prestbury. The fields at the end of Bollin Grove mark the boundary where unbroken countryside to Adlington and beyond meets the outskirts of Prestbury.
Autumn by the Bollin - November 2010
The autumn colours are beautiful this year. The large number of trees in and around the village is such an appealing feature of Prestbury, helping to maintain that all-important connection with nature and the seasons. I have experimented with selective blur in this image to give the impression of a tilt-shift lens effect.
St Peters Churchyard Crocuses - March 2010
The churchyard is almost completely blanketed with crocuses at this time of year, largely thanks to Mr Nuttall's handiwork. This year they are a sight to behold! See more photos here St Peters Churchyard Crocuses Or go to my flickr site.
Prestbury New Road from Parrots Field, December 2009
The winter of 2009 has been very picturesque, with lots of snowfall perfectly complimenting the village setting. This shot is taken from Parrots Field just opposite the Admiral Rodney. It is a secluded yet central space in the Buttley side of the village. Photo coverage from this point appears to be rare.
New Road Prestbury from Parrots Field Gate, December 2009
Another (shallow depth of focus) shot of New Road from Parrots Field. The Prestbury Village Restaurant is in the foreground. Again, there are many more photos from around the area in my flickr Prestbury set
Prestbury Priest's House May 2009
Here is a more up-to-date photo of the Nat West bank building or former Jacobean Priest's House in the centre of Prestbury village. The old paving and cobbling throughout Prestbury is a very attractive and notable feature.
Prestbury Flowers. June 2009
This year Prestbury is festooned with more hanging baskets than ever, they have even added them to the lamp posts. This is one of the colourful baskets outside the Legh Arms.
Hare Hill. June 2007
Hare Hill Gardens is an NT property close to Prestbury and Mottram St Andrew. It is one of my favourite local places. A large and secluded walled garden forms the centrepiece and it can at times feel very mysterious.
Hare Hill. June 2007
Another view of one of the wire men on horseback sculptures. Both of these images were shot with a Nikon D80 and have been intentionally over saturated.
Priests House hanging-basket. July 2004
Hanging baskets seem to be one of the village's trademarks. This year they are particularly spectacular and colourful. This one hangs at the entrance to the Jacobean "priests house" now the village branch of Natwest Bank. The Mid and East Cheshire lowlands are renowned for a wealth of Tudor and Jacobean heritage. Three other notable examples include Adlington Hall, Gawsworth Hall, and Capesthorne Hall, and all are within a short distance of Prestbury. There are a number of large and secluded private residences in the vicinity of the village that are also notable artifacts from the Tudor and Jacobean eras.
The Old School House. June 2006
The building that is now home to the village branch of RBS, Bridgfords and a very small library was at one time a village school house. The twelve plates on the left hand side wall indicate Prestbury’s impressive track record as a winner of the ‘best kept village award’.
A weavers house, Prestbury. June 2006
Many buildings in Prestbury have connections with Macclesfield’s famous silk industry and were home to weavers and other textile workers. These uncharacteristically large windows were designed to facilitate the intricate work and provide as much light as possible. There is also a nice shadow cast by one of the village’s new street lamps.
Butley Cottage, Prestbury. June 2006.
Butley Cottage is just outside the Village centre and despite all of the problems with traffic, it still retains that unique rural Cheshire ambience evoking a sense of Prestbury's quiet and remote past. The history of this building is quite well documented. John Swallow lived here for forty years and further historical information on Butley's past can be found on his website.
White Nancy, Bollington. Aug 2004
White Nancy is perched on top of Kerridge Hill over looking Bollington and commands a spectacular 270-degree view across the Peak District and the Cheshire planes. This picture was taken on a very hot day, but it is so high up that even the sub stratospheric Sirius cloud appears quite low in the sky. It is a highly energised place, and fantastic after dark (if you are brave enough to be up there!) you can look down on the entire expanse of Macclesfield, Bollington, and Manchester in the far distance and all marked out as extraordinary pools of light. I have not yet seen a "black triangular UFO", stalking "panther like" creatures, or encountered ritualistic neo-pagans but here's hoping. You're actually more likely to encounter a local tagging crew with bags of spray paint.
Rainow "Scarecrows" July 2005
In July the village of Rainow in the foot hills of the Peak District and not far from Prestbury hosts a festival where everyone decorates houses, gardens, and verges, with curious mannequins. Some are set into thematic tableau's, and others seem to represent situations from real life such as resting hill walkers and runners. The villagers' refer to these meta humans as "scarecrows".
New Road, Prestbury. Oct 2005
New Road from Bridge Green. Part of The tallest building in this shot was once a cricket togs shop jointly owned by Tim Hudson and Ian Botham. Its eccentric qualities (which included a huge esoteric name board and red, gold, and green, rendering) became almost synonymous with the colourful and vaguely bohemian character of Prestbury during its 70s heyday as a retreat for flamboyant meritocrats and celebrities. The village was also famous for its privately owned Off License selling an unusual and exotic array of beverages, plus a proper local produce grocer. Now unfortunately all replaced by run of the mill chain stores.
New Rd into Bollin Grove - Nov 2007
Looking across the river to the cottages on New Road. The radical variation in the roofline is typical of Prestbury. The cottages along here were built at different times and some where modified to accommodate various activities such as weaving and other agrarian crafts. It is a reminder of the lively artisan community that was once a feature of the village.
Bridge Hotel, Prestbury. Oct 2005
This building was originally a farm dating from 1626, many of the other white buildings in the village date from the late 17th to mid 18th century. I think it was converted into a hotel in the 1950s but many of the original features still predominate inside.
Ford House. July 2000
New Road, Prestbury. December 2000
We had quite heavy snow falls and frosts during the Christmas week. The restaurant that used to be Thymes is now called The Watermark (the sign is rather over exposed) its quite attractive and contemporary, but I have always thought that Thymes slightly bohemian cosy den like feel suited that building very well, Geof Leigh Ford's monkey murals were quite amusing.
All photos © 2001 Oliver Wood Photography